Forestry & Fire Recruitment Program
Developing a Field Training & Project Management System for the Forestry & Fire Recruitment Program (FFRP)
Our goal is to bring on board one fellow to work with us. Ideally, this fellow would have academic background and knowledge in forestry management or wildfire science. The most important primary skills needed include strong oral and written communication skills, mapping/GIS and computer skills, as well as project management/logistics skills. Secondary skills would include leadership and facilitation skills, as well as excellent attention to detail. This position will require physical training to keep up with the Buffalo hand crew and career training participants - we encourage this to be done independently and alongside our participants.
Openings: 0 of 1
Focus Area: Fire/Forestry
Ecological Forestry, Watershed Management, Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Fire Preparedness & Management, Education & Outreach
Education & Outreach
Goals & Needs
The mission of the Forestry & Fire Recruitment Program (FFRP) increases the number of wildfire personnel from non-traditional and underrepresented communities, providing them with the training, skills, resources, and experiences needed to secure gainful, family-winning employment. FFRP engages in this work through the operation of our Wildland Firefighter Career Training Program (CTP). Our workforce development program is offered to former Fire Camp residents, others that identify as formerly incarcerated, those considered at risk of incarceration, or other interested community members, to help them in their transition to gainful, family-winning careers.
Our work sits at the intersection of criminal justice and the ongoing environmental crisis. California has an established reliance on incarcerated firefighters with almost ⅓ of all active wildland firefighters deployed from Fire Camps (pre-COVID). As our State grapples with the ethical and practical challenges of its Camps, two things are clear: there is an urgent need for more wildland firefighters and forestry technicians to address the environmental crisis, and tremendous opportunity to fill positions with interested individuals who may have been previously disregarded because of their criminal record.
Our 2022-2023 GrizzlyCorps fellow supported our Bay Area expansion and program goals in a variety of ways, from developing and implementing forestry components for our career training program to supporting a research project with UC Berkeley & University of Michigan to better assess how we train and support our participants with successful transitions into forestry and fire careers. Looking ahead, we hope our 2023-2024 GrizzlyCorps fellow will help us to build on to this work and be more involved in developing a Field Training & Project Management System that aligns field training and work opportunities for our career training program and Buffalo hand crew social enterprise program.
Our Grizzly Corps Fellow will report to our Forestry Coordinator, who was our 2022-2023 GizzlyCorps Member. Our Fellow will have an opportunity to become familiar with fire & forestry resilience projects for our Buffalo Hand Crew and Career Training Program (CTP) cohorts to engage in. They will also help manage and coordinate communication and scheduling related to keeping projects on track. This is a planning and implementation role, providing an opportunity to identify, plan and manage wildfire mitigation projects with established partners and prospective ones like local Resource Conservation Districts and Fire Safe Councils, in ways that create meaningful training experiences for FFRP participants and meet the goals of the partner organization. Our Fellow will help to increase FFRP’s impact on fire and forestry resilience in local communities in Southern California and the Bay Area.
Capacity Building Projects
Field Training & Project Management System for the Forestry & Fire Recruitment Program (FFRP)
Our GrizzlyCorps Fellow will work with FFRP’s Bay Area Director and program staff in collaboration with our project partners to ensure that we have multiple projects within our pipeline that provide meaningful training opportunities, while meeting the fire and forestry resilience goals of our project partners. The dual bottom-line of these projects is important for a number of reasons: (1) successful completion of FFRP’s project commitments is crucial to building our organization’s reputation as we expand our programming; (2) having multiple projects in the pipeline allows us to pivot from one project to another to keep training and project goals on track when there are sudden shifts in weather or other factors that require a scheduling change; and (3) building capacity around project management allows us to develop a fee-for-service model to sustain our programs in the future.
We anticipate our GrizzlyCorps Fellow to assist us in developing a range of tools to support this work:
Field Training Tracking Tools, including tracking of related materials and tools used to support field training activities and learning by FFRP participants.
Project Management Tools, including scope of work planning and agreement, communication and other information-sharing tools to track resources required to complete projects.
Data Collection and Evaluation tools to help capture information and assess our impact on preparation of our participants for forestry and fire careers as well as our impact on forestry and fire resilience goals. This could include building the capacity of staff and participants to help collect, track and evaluate this data, including the development of related tools and trainings.
Creation of a fee for service booklet/pamphlet for outreach to prospective project partners, with range of rates and types of projects, and resumes for FFRP staff overseeing the work. The booklet would include example projects completed, including 2-3 before/after photos, info on the duration and # of people involved, and contact info for someone willing to serve as a reference for FFRP’s work on the project.
As part of their involvement with FFRP, we will give our Fellow opportunities to engage alongside participants as part of these field training activities and wildfire mitigation projects. This will give an opportunity to observe where changes may need to be made with regards to tools or systems that they are developing to support staff, participants, and project partners with these activities and projects in the future.
Organizational & Community Highlights
We anticipate that the fellow will be based out of our Oakland headquarters, though our training area will likely extend to include locations within 2-3 hours of our training locations in Oakland, Pasadena, or San Bernardino. Depending on experience and interest, we are also open to possibly embedding the fellow with our Buffalo Hand Crew at our San Bernardino office. Our Fellow should expect to split time between a traditional office setting and supporting the Program Team with communications and project management related to the fire and forestry resilience projects that are included as part of the training activities for The Buffalos and Career Training Program. Our Fellow will have an opportunity to learn a variety of nonprofit management and administration skills in a start-up environment, while also having a direct opportunity to contribute to local fire and forestry resilience projects and create meaningful training opportunities for participants to learn crucial wildfire and forestry technician skills. This includes an opportunity for exposure to a wide range of forestry and fire employment opportunities, as well as related training and credentialing opportunities.
Our goal is to have this position supervised by our current GrizzlyCorps Member who spent two years with GrizzlyCorps and will be joining us as our first-ever Forestry Coordinator at FFRP. We would like to have the GrizzlyCorps Member and Forestry Coordinator continue to be based out of our Bay Area office since that worked well last year, but we are open to conversation if there is a really great candidate interested in being based out of our San Bernardino office.